12/11/2008 5:48PM

Workouts, Beyers, etc.


Dan! I like to play first race off front wraps. I have had 7 nice hits this year. For the third time this year the theory failed and all three were turf races. 2 out of the 3 races the horse was ridden by my old pal Eibar Coa. What are your thoughts about the theory and not working out on the turf?
Tom D

I love the angle because, like the additional auction research we've recently talked about,  it's an opportunity to take one step ahead of the general public.  Unlike blinkers and bar shoes, front wrap information isn't announced to the public.  If you're paying attention to the paddock and post parade proceedings, you can note which horses are adding or losing the bandages.  Many handicappers are comfortable playing their numbers, and aren't interested in watching the ponies prance to the gate.  That can be a mistake, especially in claiming races where the physical condition of the animal is extremely important.  If a horse is removing front wraps, it certainly could be seen as a positive.  As for the turf angle you mentioned, I'll need more information.  Were these horses going dirt to turf?  Had they previously worn bandages in grass races?  Sometimes horses that run down on the dirt (and need bandages) won't have as much of a problem on the softer footing.  Thus, trainers won't use wraps on the grass.  If you're having trouble cashing on the angle on turf, stick with the dirt.  There will be plenty of opportunities.


Any information you have on Dunkirk (Unbridled's Song-Secret Status by A.P. Indy) would be greatly appreciated. Who is the owner and trainer. When will he make his debut, etc.
Calvin Carter

Dunkirk, a gray son of Unbridled's Song, was purchased by Coolmore for the sale-topping $3.7M at Keeneland last September.  Here's Glenye Cain Oakford's article on the purchase:


Dunkirk's dam won the Mother Goose and Kentucky Oaks en route to over a million dollars in earnings.  She is kin to multiple Grade 3 winner Alumni Hall, and stakes-winner Private Gift.

Dunkirk breezed four furlongs in 50.20 yesterday morning at Palm Meadows, and may make his debut early next year at Gulfstream.  Todd Pletcher is the trainer of Dunkirk, and it looks like Pletcher has been working him in company with Denver, an unraced Fusaichi Pegasus half-brother to multiple Grade 3 winner El Roblar. 


Dan, How many 2-year-olds zip a 100 Beyer in their maiden debut? Is Obligingly the next Triple Crown horse?
ray flack

Just wondering if you have a list of the horses who earned triple digit Beyer figures in their career debuts. I've only found 12 but I figure there are probably two or three horses that do it every year.

Obligingly earned his big number in his second start.  He finished seventh in his career debut over polytrack at Keeneland on October 24 with a 49 Beyer.

Here's a partial list of the 100+ juvenile Beyer debut runners from 1996 - Present.  I'm running a program to see if I've missed anyone.  Hopefully, I'll have the results in the next day or two.

Hook and Ladder - 110 (1999)
Chilukki - 109 (1999*)
Discreet Cat - 106 (2005)
Forest Music - 105 (2003*)
Notional - 105 (2006)
Kelly Kip - 104 (1996)
Plagiarist - 104 (2005)
Elusive Heat - 103 (2008*)
In C C's Honor - 103 (1996)
Lost in the Fog - 103 (2004)
Rodeo - 103 (1997)
Frisco Star - 102 (2005)
Lieutenant Ron - 102 (2007)
Bro Lo - 101 (2005)
In Excessive Bull - 101 (1996)
Quality Road - 101 (2008)
Star of Broadway - 100 (1997*)

* denotes  filly



I do like your idea of a big meetup for the Bloggers, but it might be a logistical nightmare. And BTW, Dan went to Nova Southeastern in FL, a big rival of my Eckerd Tritons (for perspective), so he might not have great things to say about Eckerd (eh, Dan?).

Hate to be a party-pooper, but Go Sharks! (hey, they were the Knights when I went there)



Who are your favorite horses you saw run in person?
Turn Back The Alarm

It was a chilly day at Aqueduct (when is it not a cold day at the Big A?), and I was perched in the cheap seats waiting for the post parade for the 1991 Carter Handicap.  I had fallen in love with many thoroughbreds (Easy Goer, Go for Wand, etc.), but when Housebuster strode onto the track, he took my breath away.  I had seen the 'Buster the year before when he gave a gut-wrenching performance as a three-year-old in the Metropolitan Handicap.  Hooked up for most of the way, Housebuster turned back all challenges save for Criminal Type's late burst.  Easy Goer, toting top-weight of 127 lbs., finished a lackluster third.  That race showed me that Housebuster was a very good horse.  This post parade confirmed my suspicions that he had the "it" factor. 
Housebuster pranced out of the tunnel with Craig Perret aboard, took a few steps, and stopped.  He was surveying the lay of the land, soaking in the atmosphere, and enjoying every minute of it.  If any horse knew that he was 6/5, and the center of attention, it was Housebuster.  Slowly, his head began to bob, up and down, up and down.  If horses could talk, he'd have told you, "I'm the man.  These jabronies don't have a chance."  The bobbing didn't stop until Perret coaxed Housebuster into a jog. 
On paper, however, this wasn't going to be a walk in the park.  Black Tie Affair, who had just beaten Housebuster in Keeneland's Commonwealth Breeders' Cup, was in the field as was Gervazy, the recent winner of the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship.  Rubiano and Senor Speedy, the 1-2 finishers of the Grade 3 Westchester Handicap in late March, were part of the group as well as Rousing Past, a son of Damascus that had just won the Grade 3 Bold Ruler.  Traskwood and Sunshine Jimmy completed the lineup. 
Housebuster didn't disappoint.  He broke a half a step slowly from the rail, but rushed up along the inside to assume command.  The first quarter was moderate, 22 4/5, and then Perret stepped on the accelerator.  Housebuster inched away from Black Tie Affair and Senor Speedy on the bend, then opened up on the field turning for home.  He was two clear of Black Tie Affair under the wire, and stopped the clock in 1:21 1/5, only a second off the track record. 
It was as if Housebuster called his shot, like the Great Bambino in the 1932 World Series. 


Dan, I was wondering what ever happened to Smokey Stover? He had a bad race in the '07 Sprint b/c he hated the track and then I've never heard anything since. He was a gelding, so I figured he would stay on the scene for at least another year or two

Smokey Stover was retired in May after suffering some minor problems.  He is listed in the "Retired" portion of the "Disabled List" on the right hand side of the blog.  I'm still a couple of months behind with the DL, but am hoping to catch up soon.


Also does anybody know where the trainer Ian Wilkes races his stock during winter. He trains my derby horse DISCREET STREET. (I am offically OFF the Position A bandwagon.)

He trains year-round in Kentucky, but does have a string in Florida during the Gulfstream meet.  Wilkes had 40 starters at Gulfstream last winter.  Check out his website at :



Here is what I propose, that I list the horses that have run 1 of ... and the 10 fastest work times for 6 furlongs at Santa Anita and Hollywood in the last 10 days and then we see how they perform in actual races in the next couple of weeks.
Dan - are you okay with running this on your blog?
Steve T

No problem.  The more data, the merrier I am.


Back next time with some more questions and weekend stakes opinions.

Take care,